Sunday Scriptures Moses God’s Leader

Isaiahby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Moses. Leader of God’s people. How would you describe the man God chose to lead God’s people out of Egypt?

Even though Moses resisted God’s call on his life the day God spoke from the bush that burned but never consumed, the record of the Israelites’ Exodus from slavery in Egypt shows Moses was a true leader. Do you think God would have called Moses if he wasn’t?

The more I read about Moses’ life, the more I admire the man. What patience he exhibited when time after time the ungrateful Israelites complained against God and Moses during their forty year trek through the desert. Moses showed compassion and a willingness to sacrifice himself for the people he led. Moses also showed strength in the face of rebellion.

Numbers 12:3 tells us Moses was the humblest man on earth and Deuteronomy 34:10-12 says there has never been another prophet in Israel like Moses.

Even so, Moses told God he was not the man for the job. Moses said his speech was slow and halting, and that right there should disqualify him. God disagreed. Because we know the end of the story, we know Moses did go, he did what God told him to do, and he did lead the Israelites to the Promised Land God prepared for them.

During the martyr Stephen’s words just prior to being stoned to death, Stephen said of Moses, “Pharaoh’s daughter found him and adopted him as her own son, and taught him all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he became a mighty prince and orator.” (Acts 7:21-22)

Moses became a mighty prince and orator. Doesn’t sound like a man whose speech was slow and halting to me.

I believe sometimes we judge ourselves the way Moses did. We discount our abilities and shrink back from using them. God put those abilities in us to accomplish great things for him. One thing I heard years ago, which I firmly believe, is God doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called.

So if God has tapped us on the shoulder to step out of our comfort zone to do a mighty work for him, we shouldn’t start writing a list of our shortcomings. Each of us has shortcomings a plenty after all. Instead, let’s put God at the top of our list of strengths, leave it at that, and perform the work God’s called us to through the Holy Spirit’s mighty power living in us.

Where in your life have you seen God’s power at work?

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There has never been another prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face. The Lord sent him to perform all the miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt against Pharaoh, and all his servants, and his entire land. With mighty power, Moses performed terrifying acts in the sight of all Israel. Deuteronomy 34:10-12 (NLV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Coincidence? Hardly

Isaiahby Sandy Kirby Quandt

God met Moses at the Burning Bush in the wilderness, and told Moses to go to Egypt where he would deliver God’s people from slavery. But Moses gave excuses why he wasn’t the best candidate for the job. One excuse Moses gave was he was not an eloquent speaker. Even after God assured Moses God would give him the words to say, Moses balked.

God relented, and said he would send Moses’ brother, Aaron, along with Moses since Aaron spoke well. As soon as God agreed to send Aaron with Moses, who should appear on the horizon in the middle of nowhere? Aaron. Right on cue.

Coincidence? Hardly.

Before God and Moses had their conversation, God told Aaron to go into the wilderness to meet his brother. Because Aaron obeyed, he arrived at the exact moment God intended. God planned it all along. It was not a happenstance. It wasn’t a coincidence. It was God’s plan from the beginning.

God offered Moses the opportunity to be his spokes person, yet God knew Moses well enough to realize Moses would need Aaron at his side to accomplish God’s plan of deliverance.

Once Aaron arrived God instructed both men on his plan for their journey to Egypt, and the plan to deliver God’s people began to take shape.

The next time something happens in our lives which may be considered coincidence, perhaps we should look for God’s hand in the situation.

Have you had an event occur which others may think a coincidence, but you know better?

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Meanwhile the Lord had said to Aaron, “Go into the desert to meet Moses.” So he went to meet him at the holy mountain; and when he met him, he kissed him. Then Moses told Aaron everything that the Lord had said when he told him to return to Egypt; he also told him about the miracles which the Lord had ordered him to perform. Exodus 4:27-28 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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A Time of Change and Transition

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

As summer draws to a close, it’s a time of change and transition. Students go back to school and vacations come to an end. It won’t be long before leaves change color and fall to the ground. But one of the greatest times of change and transition recorded in the Bible is found in Exodus chapters 13-14.

In the story of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt, God did not take them the shortest route to the promised land. Because he knew they were not strong enough, yet, to face the Philistines and conquer the land he would eventually give them, God took his people a roundabout way instead. You might say he took them the long way home.

Amidst our times of change and transition God sometimes does the same with us, don’t you think?

We see a direct line between where we are and where we want to be, but from God’s courtesy pixabayperspective, he sees things differently.

God doesn’t always take us the shortest route because he knows our strengths, and he knows our weaknesses.

The Israelites questioned, grumbled, complained, and resisted God the whole way. They didn’t realize the road God chose for them led away from disaster, not toward it. They didn’t understand receiving God’s deliverance meant obeying him. They didn’t want to accept the fact that in order to be delivered from bondage, they had to follow the route God laid out in front of them.

We do that too, don’t we? We want a change. We want God’s deliverance, but when God tells us to obey and follow him the long way home, we balk. When God tells us we have to be obedient to his law, his rules, his way, we cry out like the Israelites, and decide we’d rather die where we are than go one step further on the path God laid out.

When we read the story of the mass of humanity caught between the waters of the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s army, we read a story of fear; and rightly so. I doubt many of them were expert swimmers.

courtesy pixabayThe odds didn’t look good from where they stood. When Moses told the people not to be afraid, to stand firm, and see God’s deliverance, I’m sure more than one of those Israelites thought Moses was loco.

Moses told the Israelites the reason they didn’t need to be afraid; the LORD would fight for them.

The same God who delivered the Israelites from Pharaoh’s army and safely led them across a dry river bed, is the same God who delivers us from the armies and seas that trap us. Following God does not mean all will be smooth sailing. No sirree. Anything but.

When we follow God, we will face frightening experiences. Guaranteed. The challenge, however, is to put our potentially frightening circumstances and situations up against the all-powerful Lord God Almighty. The One who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Change and transition can be frightening. The unknown can be frightening. Moving from one phase of life to another can be frightening. The main thing we should remember during our times of transition is the fact anything we might fear is nothing compared to the God who goes before us and leads the way.

Are there any changes or transitions you are facing in your life?

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So the people of Israel followed all of Jehovah’s instructions to Moses and Aaron. That very day the Lord brought out the people of Israel from the land of Egypt, wave after wave of them crossing the border. Exodus 12:50-51 (TLB)

I wish you well,

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Jehovah-nissi

Isaiahby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Jehovah-nissi. The LORD is my Banner. Moses first declared this truth during the Israelite battle against Amalek in Exodus 17.

In this battle Moses stood at the top of a hill with the staff God used in Moses’ hand to perform miracles before Pharaoh. As long as Moses held the staff high in the air, Israel won, but whenever his arms grew weary and dropped to his side, the Israelites lost ground. (I wrote more detail about this battle and the importance of helping each other when we become weary here, if you are interested.)

Many times during the Israelites’ battles to possess the land of Canaan they were told to be strong and courageous. They were told not to become discouraged when the odds didn’t look to be in their favor. Because the LORD their God would go before them and fight the battle, they were told to stand firm.

Jehovah-nissi went before them. His banner protected them. Those under God’s banner found victory through him.

God is our Jehovah-nissi just as much today as he was when Moses stood on that hill with the staff of God in his hands. Our Banner goes before us and fights our battles. We can find protection and victory under God’s banner of love.

To claim that protection, however, we must rally beneath his Sovereignty and not go off on our own to fight the battles we face every day.

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 Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-Nissi (which means “the Lord is my banner”). Exodus 17:15 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Take That Leap of Faith

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Faith is a theme that runs through many of my blog posts. Maybe you’ve noticed. Abraham. Moses. Esther. To name a few.

During the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference last month, I spent time with other writers as we encouraged each other in our writer’s journey. For those who do not write, you may not understand how much faith it takes to believe God has called us to weave words together for him to use.

It’s a privilege that requires large quantities of faith.

The same amount of faith it takes any of us to accept the privilege God gives to use the abilities and skills he’s placed within us. It takes faith to make that incredible leap to step out and trust.

But you know what?

fearNo matter how fantastic the opportunity, facing the unknown can be frightening. Especially when doing so seems … crazy.

We might listen to Satan’s lies telling us we aren’t good enough.

Who are we kidding?

What have we got to offer?

Why do we think we’re capable?

It’ll be too difficult.

And on and on and on.

So this post is for all of us who need a little encouragement to step out in faith no matter courtesy pixabayhow crazy it may seem.

Encouragement to grab hold of all the marvelous things God has waiting for us and trust he knows what he’s doing when he calls us to be a part of his plan.

Am I the only one who struggles with a lack of confidence that can morph into a lack of faith that can become a lack of obedience when I face the unknown?

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What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead. Hebrews 11:1 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Follow Instructions

Isaiahby Sandy Kirby Quandt

My first day of junior high school was a day full of anxiety and unknowns. None of which was helped by the test my 7th grade science teacher handed us as we entered his classroom.

A test on the first day of school? A test covering a subject that was not at the top of the subjects I excelled at? A test where the teacher’s instructions were, “Put your name at the top of your paper, then read the entire test before you begin.”? Good grief.

The only part of the test I got correct was my name. Seriously. That was it.

You want to know the reason why? I didn’t follow the instructions. I didn’t read through the entire test, as instructed, before I began answering the terribly hard end-of-year-type questions.

If I followed the instructions I would have understood why several students put their pencils down so quickly. I would have saved myself an awful lot of unnecessary stress. I would have realized at the end of the test, the very last sentence said, “Put your pencil down when you finish reading this sentence. Do not attempt to answer any of the questions.”

The purpose of the test was to see if we could/would follow directions. It’s purpose was not to test whether we had a grasp of the scientific concepts we would learn during the coming year.

Epic fail on my part.

The ending chapters of the Old Testament book of Exodus detail the construction of the Tabernacle. These instructions came straight from God to Moses. God went into minute detail as to how he wanted the Tabernacle built.

Moses gave the instructions to the people. The people followed those instructions thoroughly and completely. They passed the test.

In his Holy Word, God gives us his instructions on how to build our tabernacle.

We are to believe Jesus is God’s son, the Risen Savior, who willingly laid his life on the cross to pay the debt for our sins which we could never pay, put our trust in him, and live each day according to his will.

But we don’t read to the end of the test, sometimes. We dig right in and try to get through life on our own. We try to earn our salvation through our hard work and answering all the questions correctly. We forget about grace.

Although it did count for how well I followed directions, I am extremely grateful the science test I took in 7th grade didn’t count for a grade. I’m also grateful Jesus has passed the test on my behalf and all I need do now is thank him by living every day of the remainder of my life for him.

I’m sure all of you would have followed the teacher’s directions and read all the way to the end of the test before making that first mark, but can you think of a time when you didn’t follow instructions and wish you had?

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And they brought the entire Tabernacle to Moses:

the sacred tent with all its furnishings, clasps, frames, crossbars, posts, and bases;

the tent coverings of tanned ram skins and fine goatskin leather;
the inner curtain to shield the Ark;

the Ark of the Covenant and its carrying poles;
the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement;
 the table and all its utensils;
the Bread of the Presence;

the pure gold lampstand with its symmetrical lamp cups, all its accessories, and the olive oil for lighting;
the gold altar;
the anointing oil and fragrant incense;
the curtain for the entrance of the sacred tent;
 the bronze altar;
the bronze grating and its carrying poles and utensils;
the washbasin with its stand;
 the curtains for the walls of the courtyard;
the posts and their bases;
the curtain for the entrance to the courtyard;
the ropes and tent pegs;
all the furnishings to be used in worship at the Tabernacle;
 the beautifully stitched garments for the priests to wear while ministering in the Holy Place—the sacred garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments for his sons to wear as they minister as priests.

 So the people of Israel followed all of the Lord’s instructions to Moses. Then Moses inspected all their work. When he found it had been done just as the Lord had commanded him, he blessed them. Exodus 39:33-43 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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One of my posts will appear on Inspire a Fire January 5, 2016. Please stop by.